Everybody has that one friend who likes to say that they were into something way before it was cool. They’re like, “It kills me that people are sooo into nerds right now. I was a nerd way back in the day. I’ve still got the number 4 Vandoren saxophone reeds and my marching band plume to prove it.” Yes, this person is pretty nerdy … yes, they’re also me.
See? All the cool kids are doing it.
Now, there’s a brand new thing that the people in your life can go all hipster about and say that they were into before it was cool. They can brag about how they discovered its awesomeness before everyone else and how they can’t believe how mainstream it has gone. What is this thing, you ask? Vegetables. It seems as though our rooty, cruciferous and night shady (not to be confused with Slim Shady) friends are starting to pop up in places that we never thought we’d see them. Unexpected and unorthodox places like plant-based, artisanal cheese and milks as well as … the menu of a steak purveyor? As it turns out, Omaha Steaks is teaming up with The Chef’s Garden, touting the addition of “fresh, artisanal veggies” to their menu, something they’ve never offered in the 98 years they’ve existed. Kinda interesting, considering that most can’t achieve the age of 98 without veggies in the mix. Just sayin’.
This is Mimi Kirk. She is vegan. She is 75 … you guys … she’s 75
They’re not the only meat dominated establishment jumping on the veggie bandwagon either. White Castle added at vegan slider to their menu in 400 locations at the beginning of 2015, the rapidly expanding salad chain Salata added three vegan protein options to their salad bar line-up and the Culinary Institute of America introduced their “Menus of Change” initiative to advocate for the more sparing use of meat, if at all, in dishes. Heck, even Minecraft now lets you craft and cook with new vegan options and recipes. Even the virtual world is going animal-free! If super pixelated looking pumpkin milk doesn’t signify that plant-based eating has arrived, we don’t know what has.
“Don’t worry, I can get us a square-ish straw”
The decision by Omaha Steaks to add five boxes of artisanal produce (Roasting Box, Juicing Box, Beauty Box (which includes edible flowers), Roots & Shoots Box, and Nature’s Color Box) is particularly interesting given their reasoning behind it. According to a statement by senior vice president and owner Todd Simon, “Bringing these beautiful restaurant-quality vegetables to our customers aligns perfectly with Omaha Steaks’ commitment to creating and providing wholesome and delicious food that brings people together.”
Seems clear that in order to continue to appeal to a mass audience, a company that has made their name in the meat business is having to broaden their scope to include the kinds of healthful and sustainable products that people want.
While we’re pretty content in saying that buying locally sourced veggies, organic whenever humanly possible, is going to be the way to go, the decision by Omaha Steaks and the other chains donning their kale shirts like the cool kids, is a pretty interesting sign of the times. Consumer voices are being heard. And they’re saying that they want to sauté some zucchini and juice some greens.
“Aww yiss, Imma put the HURT on this salad.”
Requesting and then choosing plant-based options from major chains is an effective way to make change. Demand for products is the quickest way to get a company to provide more of said product. Even better yet, why not cut the middle man out entirely and grab a box of produce from you local grower? Check here to find organic farms in your area that you can support, while you support your intense veggie habit in the process. The time of veggies is nigh. Collard us impressed, you just can’t beet progress … yes, we did. Lead Image Credit: Toby Amidor Nutrition